Another world: drawing on a changed planet: Patrick Chappatte is one of Switzerland's best known cartoonists, contributing editorial cartoons to Le Temps, the Sunday edition of the Neue Zurcher Zeitung, the International Herald Tribune (IHT) and Swiss News.

AuteurHollingdale, Michael
Fonction Feature

September 11, 2001 has become a generation's John F Kennedy moment. Where you were, what you were doing on the day of the horrific attack on the Twin Towers is etched on each of our memories as keenly as the president's assassination was on those of the previous generation.

Newspaper cartoons may not seem the most appropriate medium to relate the narrative of the past few years, but a new collection published by Globe Cartoon in Geneva may make you think again.

Another World

In collaboration with the American newspaper, Chappatte is now publishing a selection of his cartoons that have appeared in the IHT over the last four years. Funny, sad, intelligent and thought provoking, they make up a fascinating chronicle of a period that has changed the planet, transforming it into another world.

The cartoons in 'Another World' start from a few months before the attack on the World Trade Centre when the IHT hired Chappatte to provide them with a non-American view on world events. These early drawings show an interest in a wide range of people and issues. From the newly elected President Bush to the economy to the environment and the Kyoto Protocol. Then came September 11 ... a prism which shapes all his subsequent works.

Chappatte says the day itself generated some of the worst cartoons ever produced as artists, like everybody rise, attempted to grapple with the scale of the atrocity. "You can try to illustrate grief but no-one could ever be up to the grief of that day," he says.

On September 12, dozens of drawings showed the Statue of Liberty, in team. Chappatte himself produced an ambiguous work that depicted the Statue shrouded in smoke but he has not included it in the book. It was, he says, his toughest assignment and one that was perhaps impossible to fulfil. "The attack was a real personal shock to me. I'd lived in the neighbourhood of the Towers for three years, within four blocks of them, and one of my children was born in New York."

Looking at the cartoons that Chappatte produced in the days following September 11 make it clear that the world was entering a dangerous era. One shows huge American missiles aimed at a knife-wielding terrorist--underlining the inequality of the battle to come but also the vulnerability of the US despite its military might. Later drawings show the war against the Taleban, the widening transatlantic divide and the inexorable build-up to the invasion of Iraq. Other events of the past four years, such as corporate...

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